Friday, October 31, 2014

Artist Moment: A Tribute

Ever since I started this blog there is one feature that has amused me. On the lower right column you'll see the top five posts read. As much as I keep blathering on about knitting and writing, this post about the castles continues to keep a spot on the list. I don't know why people keep coming back to it. It can't be what I wrote. It must be the eye candy. That makes me very happy.

This post is hard for me to write and I have let some time pass so I could compose it.

Mary F. Parker, who was very dear to me and a lot of people, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones.

She was born into a more genteel society where the expectations of women were different from today. She was a mother, an artist, a good friend and an intensely private person. I miss her deeply.

I am grateful for our collaboration together. Since it is Halloween, I thought I would share the pictures that appeared for "Scaredy Bat" on Weeonesmag years ago.

Copyright @ Mary F. Parker

Copyright @ Mary F. Parker

Copyright @ Mary F. Parker

I am pleased to say that her legacy continues as we signed a contract in late summer to use her work with my story "Ghosts In the Night." The story will appear in a digital library hopefully next spring. I will of course blog details when the time comes.

As a final tribute, on November 12th which was her birthday (a lady never tells her age), The White Rose will be offered free for the day on Amazon.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Midnight Suns Fingerless Mitts Pattern Release

A few years ago, I designed my first hat. I wore that hat a lot but something was missing, matching mitts!

Midnight Suns Fingerless Mitts -knit in Knit Picks Capra

I finally have my set.

Since I had knit my husband a hat, he also needed some mitts so the pattern has two basic sizes and is easy to lengthen to your needs. (For bigger mitts you may want another skein of the main color. When I knit the larger black pair for him, I ran the skein all the way out to the absolute end.)

As a thank you to the knitters that bought my hat pattern years ago and because I like people to have a set, I'm running a special on Ravelry until November 10, 2014:

If you create a project on Ravelry and post a picture of a finished Midnight Suns hat or mitt, I'll give you the matching companion pattern for free.  

Have fun everybody and enjoy the knit!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Knit in Between Part 2

Much has been happening as usual this fall! I have a new pattern to release very very soon (like before this week is over.) A new children's book is bubbling in my head and a new design is waiting for yarn to jump on my needles.

I thought I'd warm up the blog again by showing you the progress on my in-between-everything knit:

Basic sock with no real plan and souvenir yarn. It's a comfort knit that I will enjoy wearing. I made sure to cast on for the second sock so I will not have "second sock syndrome"!

Coming up on the heels (pun intended) of my next pattern release will be the Gift-A-Long (GAL) on Ravelry. I'll be posting more soon about that!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Evening Tide Pattern Release

I'm happy to release my latest scarf pattern I call, Evening Tide. It is in my store on Ravelry now and hopefully it will soon appear on the Knit Picks website as well.

I decided to not make this piece a cowl to give wearing and draping options but you certainly can seam the ends together. I do like to wear it doubled around.

Evening Tide knit in Knit Picks Hawthorne, color Eastbank
I started the design wanting to make an interesting textured sock yarn scarf. We have mild weather most of the year here so lighter yarns serve me well. I played with lace biasing techniques but found that while I was getting a nice twisted texture when I blocked the fabric fell flat. I needed the cable cross to hold up the texture.

I admit that I'm not always fond of cabling because I think that the finished product often looks too heavy on my body. I look like I'm wearing bulky ropes! But I think the lace techniques I used help lighten the piece beautifully.

Here's a closeup to see the lovely holes:

It also looks good in Cascade Heritage sock.

Because the fabric biases, it will give you a cute pointy end.

I thank my wise technical editor, Katherine Vaughan for checking the pattern over and making sure my chart matched my written instructions. I also thank my husband and photographer for taking me on location to Manteo, NC on the Outer Banks for this fun photoshoot!

Pattern Details:
Yarn: Knit Picks Hawthorne (80% Superwash Fine
Highland Wool, 20% Polyamide, 357 yards/100 grams)
Gauge: 35 stitches = 4” (10 cm) in pattern
Needles: US Size 4 (3.50mm)
Notions: Tapestry needle and cable needle
Sample Blocked Finished Size: 46" (117 cm) long, 5" (12.5 cm) wide.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pictures please

I almost started a new photography hobby when I inherited an iPhone 4 and downloaded an app for photographers. The app advertised itself as a showcase market site for phone camera shooters. I soon discovered that I was like a guppy swimming with sharks!

So much for that. But here's a pretty picture I took.

Anyway, for the first time I have two designs completed but no pictures to share! Hopefully I'll get my husband photographer to take a bunch so I can release these patterns soon.

In writing news, I just re-licensed my first children's story I ever wrote (back in 1998) to a newly forming digital library. So exciting! And the best thing is that they are also going to use Mary Parker's original artwork. I am happy but I must be patient as I won't see it until sometime next year.

But stay tuned because soon I'll have those patterns to show you and Minnie 2 is coming around the corner!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Knit in Between

Often between designing and writing I need a small vacation knit. That's where socks are so handy.

This is a skein of souvenir yarn from our vacation at the Outer Banks of NC. This is from the store Knitting Addiction. It's Sea Star Handpaints in the color Blue Crab on size 2 US needles. I use dpns but using two circulars makes it easier to carry the project everywhere.

These socks won't get finished too soon because another design has found it's way onto the needles and calls me. I also hope to get back to the shore soon to take pictures of my finished Evening Tide scarf and release the pattern to you before the end of the month.

September is here and there is always so much to do! Happy knitting!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bangles Gloves

August is turning out to be an exciting month for me. First the children's ebook, and now another knit pattern is released! I call it Bangles because the lace and garter pattern reminds me of bracelets. When I was designing I thought, if I have bracelets, then why not have rings?

Which finger(s) should the rings go on? I have my preferences, but why not let the knitter choose?!
So the pattern gives you options.

The gloves are knit in Knit Picks Capretta in two colors but I see no problem in using more than one contrasting color. What jewelry colors do you wear?

The fabric is a yummy cashmere blend, so it's soft and it drapes and scrunches and is so hard to photograph! (Or maybe it's just that modeling is hard. But I tried my best.)

The gloves were pulled over sleeves to straighten them out. For another shoot I thought bare arms would show the texture when it naturally scrunches

 That's more of the effect that I'm looking for! But the red blouse, really? I think I need a stylist.

You can find the pattern in my Ravelry design store and make it your own!